Martin Howse (UK) Radio Mycelium Array (RMA)

installation and performance, 2017

Symbiotic ur-networks of silent fungal and root chatter and earth vibration, named chemical gradients tasted by rooty and human tongues fruit forest-wide in fairy rings, rising up in form and outgrowing Jodrell bank and Arecibo, outclassing them unknown in bringing down the stars to Earth. (Martin Howse, 2017)

Noting simple parallels between the scaled formations of radio telescope arrays, and the arrayed forms of certain mushroom bodies such as those of Amanita Muscaria, Martin Howse aims to further explore this spored coincidence of cosmos and micro-cosmos, initiating the first forest Radio Mycelium Array.

Conventional radio telescope arrays make use of a technique called interferometry to combine signals received on multiple smaller antennas, creating a larger, more precise view of the electromagnetic Universe. In the case of the RMA, the arrayed Amanita mushrooms act as receiving antennas for deep space signals, to be combined in underground mycelial electrochemical signals. Star dust and mushroom spore combine imaginatively, with both technologies provoking potentially meaningful earth and cosmic signals.

Radio Mycelium Array (RMA) is exhibited both as a speculative prototype (mushroom bodies connected to a digital interferometer device and display), and as documentation of "working" forest studies with similar equipment. Audio recordings of received signals are also available (inscribed on vinyl in sleeves printed with copper spore patterns from the Amanita mushrooms, the antennae).

Martin Howse (UK)

Martin Howse is occupied with an investigation of the links between the Earth (geophysical phenomena), software and the human psyche (psychogeophysics) through the construction of experimental situations (performance, laboratories, walks, and workshops), material art works and texts.

From 1998 to 2005 Howse was director of ap, a software performance group working with electronic waste, pioneering an early approach to digital glitch. From 2007 to 2009 he hosted a regular workshop, micro-residency and salon series in Berlin. Howse has worked and collaborated on acclaimed projects and practices such as The Crystal World, Psychogeophysics, Earthboot, Sketches towards an Earth Computer and Dissolutions. For the last ten years he has initiated numerous open-laboratory style projects and performed, published, lectured and exhibited worldwide. He is equally the creator of the skin-driven audio divination noise module, The Dark Interpreter, and the ERD modular synthesizer series.